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Manga Review: Oreimo Volume One by Tsukasa Fushimi

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Oreimo Volume One is a manga by Tsukasa Fushimi, and it is an adaptation of Fushimi’s light novel series. Dark Horse Manga has the North American distribution rights for the series, and this volume was released in 2012. There isn’t a rating published anywhere for this volume; however, I would recommend Oreimo to manga readers who are 15 or 16 years of age and older.

Oreimo is told from the point of view of Kyosuke Kosaka, a 17-year-old high school student. His younger sister, Kirino, is a pretty and smart 14-year-old middle school student; unfortunately, the siblings haven’t had much of a relationship in years, due to Kirino constantly looking down on her older brother. However, something happens that changes the dynamic of the siblings’ relationship.

Kyosuke and Kirino accidentally bump into each other, which causes the bag that Kirino is carrying to go into the air and fall on the floor. Kirino quickly picks up her things and bats Kyosuke away as he tries to help, and she hurries out of the house. After she’s gone, Kyosuke sees a DVD case that has fallen under some furniture; the case is for a magical girl anime series, but the disc inside the case is for an 18+ game that focuses on little sisters.

After making some deductions, Kyosuke realizes that the disc belongs to Kirino, which really takes him by surprise. One night, Kirino admits to Kyosuke that she’s an otaku that has built up an extensive collection of moe anime and younger sister-themed adult games. After Kyosuke promises to keep her hobby a secret from their parents, Kirino tries to include her brother in her hobby, much to his chagrin.

I saw the first episode of the Oreimo anime before reading this volume, so I already knew what to expect. However, this volume goes beyond where the first episode ended, so it has allowed me to see where the storyline is headed. When I compare the two medium, it seems like the manga telling of the story is a little more “blunt” in comparison to the anime. Also, the manga appears to utilize a little more in the way of “fan service” elements in comparison to the anime; for example, there are several panels that include close-ups of Kirino’s rear end that appear in the manga that I don’t recall seeing in the anime.

I have to admit that when I first saw the anime, I thought that Kirino’s interest in the younger sister-themed adult games was a little odd. But since I already knew this from the anime, I was better able to accept this idea when I read it in the manga. After seeing both the first episode of the anime and reading the first volume of the manga, I think there’s potential for the series to be able to explore relationships between siblings; however, it remains to be seen if that potential is reached by the end of the series.

Since I saw the first episode of the anime before reading this manga, I’m more used to the character designs that were used for the television series. So when I read this volume of the Oreimo manga, I thought the character designs looked rather rough; I blame this perception on the fact that I was exposed to the anime first. If I didn’t have the anime series to compare this to, I probably wouldn’t have thought that the artwork looked nearly as rough as I did when I read the manga.

If you’re already familiar with Oreimo through the anime series or through the light novel series, then you will probably enjoy this manga telling of the story. However, if you’re not already familiar with Oreimo and decide to read this manga volume, then be prepared to read a story about a middle schooler with an interest in adult games; if you can’t handle that idea, then it’s probably best to stay away from this manga.

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About Lesley Aeschliman

Lesley Aeschliman is a freelance writer who began writing on a full-time basis in 2007. She has served as the Anime editor at BellaOnline.com, and she also writes and maintains two blogs: Lesley's Musings... on Anime and Manga and AeschTunes.